A male Helmeted Hornbill Buceros vigil inspecting a male Ficus punctata fig fruit at the Belalong Canopy Walkway, in Ulu Temburong, Brunei. Despite the fact that the Helmeted Hornbill is a fig eating specialist and Ficus punctata figs are abundant at the Belalong Canopy Walkway neither Helmeted Hornbills not any other animals have ever been seen to eat  these male figs. Helmeted Hornbill photos by Hanyrol H.  Admad Sah

Ficus punctata and Helemted Hornbill at BCW IMG_3006 (01) -
Ficus punctata is the most common fig in the forest surrounding the Belalong Canopy Walkway . Ficus punctata grows as a  root climbing liana. The liana starts it’s growth in the ground  and crawls up the nearest large tree trunk high into the canopy. In the photo above a pink circle surrounds a male Ficus punctata fig fruit whilst the red circles  show the  leafy branches of  the same F. punctata liana.
Ficus punctata BCWIMG_1410 - Copy.JPG
A close-up of a male Ficus punctata fig fruit growing in the canopy next to the Belalong Canopy Walkway. The yellow oval shows the leaves of a root climber in the ARACEA plant family. The red circle shows the tiny leaves  of the Ficus punctata liana. Ficus punctata is a dioecious fig i.e. separate male and female plants. Only female figs produce seeds whilst the male fig fruit act as breeding chambers for pollinating fig wasps.
Ficus punctata IMG_1127.JPG
The tiny leaves of Ficus punctata lianas (red circles)  covered many tree trunks in the forests of Borneo. Ficus punctata is undoubtedly the most common forest fig in Borneo.  (The yellow oval shows the leaves of an epiphytic orchid. ) Despite many hours of observation no animal has ever been seen to eat  male Ficus punctata figs at the Belalong Canopy Walkway. After many months they turn black and fall from the tree.
Ficus punctata female 3P7A5822 - Copy.JPG
In contrast to male figs,  ripe female Ficus punctata figs which are c. twice the size of male figs are eagerly eaten by many mammals including gibbons, binturongs and Prevost’s squirrel at the Belalong Canopy Walkway. Photo shows Kate the matriarch of the local gibbon family hunting for ripe female F. punctata figs. However hornbills and other birds  eat neither male nor female F. punctata figs.
BCW enhanced IMG_1130.JPG
The Belalong Canopy Walkway at Ulu Temburong in Brunei, Borneo.